“…but it enhances the whole experience!” she exclaimed, feeling frustrated by the backlash she was getting from her friends.
After that last remark, her friends simply ignored her hoping that she would go away. One changed the subject: “Guess who’s getting a new pet?”, which elicited responses from everyone but her.
Her face turned auburn with anger, she stood up and started walking away.
Once she was out of the earshot, one stated the obvious: “We need to exclude her from the events now. I mean, seriously, she knowingly lost her purity. I cannot imagine any one of us would want to be seen hanging out with an odd one.”
Most shook their heads in agreement while two seemed undecided. “Maybe, if it’s possible, once she comes to her senses she can reverse the procedure. Should we just give up on her like that? It is not like her magnetic whatever she was talking about is visible. As far as anyone can see, she is pure.”
“But could you imagine if anyone we know decided to sleep with her? They might think that we all have that magnetic thing, and that we’re all odd. Wasn’t there a saying like ‘show me your friends and I will tell you who you are’? Imagine the shame!”
“She just wanted better pleasure, is it so bad that she gets to enjoy sex more?”
“I want better vision, but you will not see me going and getting those extreme view eyes! If you two want to hang out with the odd ones, then by all means feel free to talk to her. Perhaps you will get some upgrades as well. Otherwise let’s agree that she will no longer be a part of this circle.”
Silence around the table showed agreement, no matter how begrudgingly. As the ladies continued their conversation regarding the perfect age, gender, and color for the new pet, and the places to be seen with it, they failed to notice an unusual looking man approach their table.
After clearing his throat to grab the attention of the table, he smiled and said “Excuse me ladies, I could not help but overhear...”
He paused for a moment to enjoy the fearful look in their eyes as he knew they thought he was talking about the sexual enhancer.
“...you were naming many places around the city and I am quite new here.” He noticed them exhale as he finished uttering the sentence. He caught a glance of Narmer’s wife, quickly shifted his eyes, and settled them on one lady in particular, his target, and continued “I wondered if you would like to help me get to know the city better.”
The one he was looking at seemed to blush a little while all the other ladies were intrigued. His friend’s partner jumped in “Oh, well I am quite the expert of the places to be. I’m Menes by the way, nice to meet you. What kinds of places would you be interested in?” As the other ladies smiled at that notion, he turned to his initial target and said “Wherever you would be interested in showing me.” Upset at the dismissal, Menes shut off with more than a hint of anger.
He moved towards his target looking into her eyes and asked “Would you be kind enough?” The girlish charm of her blushing face suddenly lifted, and in its place was that of a confident woman, seemingly strong enough to balance the power in the conversation.
“I should say I am surprised by your boldness, but not enough to find it repulsive. I suppose I can be kind enough to help a lone visitor.”
He noticed how carefully chosen her words were. He had to think twice as hard now to ensure that he was not playing by her rules, but that she by his... or at least meeting somewhere in the middle.
“Assumptions are dangerous, so I must ask, are you free tomorrow?”
* * *
He double checked to make sure he wasn’t being followed as he entered the HQ.
Arsinoe and Narmer were waiting for him in his room. She gave him an expectantly inquisitive look while Narmer seemed worried.
“I am meeting her tomorrow. We may have underestimated her. She seems to be quite intelligent.”
Arsinoe gave a sarcastic chuckle at that remark.
“Don’t worry Uncle, I know her kind. They sit all day and discuss invented trends until they end their existences, drenched in depression. She is nothing but a parasite. A parasite that is very well connected.”
“Are you sure she is the one? I don’t want to spend my time befriending a random pure hoping to get invited to a party she doesn’t even know about.”
Arsinoe normally seemed calm and collected. Maybe even too calm and collected for everyone’s comfort at times. She had a trigger however, and it was her abilities being called into question. She walked up to Uncle, close enough that he could feel her breath, and yelled “Decades! I spent decades socializing with these scum to know who is who. You dare question me? She is the one, unless you didn’t pay attention to my clear instructions and flirted with the wrong woman! You had better hope you didn’t mess up, and you’d better befriend the shit out of her and get in with the founders!”
She took a deep breath and one step back. With her usual calm and cold voice she continued “until then, if you have any questions, feel free to consult me, Narmer, or any other pure Ohm members.”
He took an even deeper breath as Arsinoe left the room. Narmer also seemed to have been holding his breath. He asked “was my partner, Menes, there?”
“Yes”, uncle responded, “she seemed to be the one most interested in me. I hate to tell you this, but your aversion towards your relationship may be mutual.”
“If that is true, it would make everything much easier when the time comes for us to rise up.”
He had no idea how long Narmer and his partner had been together. He always liked Narmer, which is why he had asked Narmer to employ his niece, trusting that he would look after her.
“Listen Uncle, Arsinoe may be underestimating this lady. I know firsthand that that they are not necessarily stupid. They are just shallow... and shallow doesn’t always mean stupid. So tread carefully.”
Narmer stood up, came close to uncle, and gave him a tap on the back of his shoulder. It was strange. He didn’t have a memory of Narmer ever making a physical contact with him when he was odd. Not even a handshake. “Shallow, not stupid.” he repeated Narmer’s remarks.
Narmer gave a nod and said “good luck” as he left the room.
That was it then. Target set, plan made... he was only weeks away from meeting the founders. The people he, for his entire life, had blamed for the status quo. The ones responsible for the loss of his whole family, including his lovely niece, to a system which would enslave them for an eternity.. He felt his anger building up.
He walked out of his room, towards the Doctor’s, to get his formula all the while imagining extremely graphic images of torture the faceless founders were receiving in his hands.
He knocked on the door with a grin.